As we approach the holiday season in the U.S., capping off a year that has been marked by both extraordinary challenges and opportunities, kindness is top of mind for many. In our homes, our workplaces, and our communities, we are thinking about what it means to be kind and how to express kindness, in ways that are both appropriate and meaningful. 

This is a topic that guides Mursion’s workplace learning efforts and inspired our Kindness at Work symposium series. In our second edition, which, this year, manifested as a four-day virtual event, we hosted thought leaders and game changers who specialize in empathic leadership. We came together and connected as a digital community to explore what it means to guide individuals and organizations from a place of kindness. We asked questions, we took notes, and we were even lifted up by live music from some of our multi-talented Simulation Specialists

In case you missed any of the sessions (or, like us, want to revisit them), we’re reliving some of the a-ha moments that have moved us to action. These are the highlights from Days 1 & 2; stay tuned for Days 3 & 4 for even more insights and inspiration.

Kindness at Work (From Home): Day 1

On Monday, Nov. 9, we set the tone for our virtual event with Fast Company Editor-in-Chief Stephanie Mehta. Stephanie has spent her career in the fast-paced, high-profile world of journalism, holding managerial positions at The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Bloomberg Media, and Vanity Fair, prior to joining Fast Company. Which is to say, she’s been a gatekeeper for headline-making news. She’s been on the frontlines, telling the stories of the people and the movements that are changing the world.

In her Kindness at Work presentation, Stephanie spoke of notable business leaders who have been fearless in their commitment to do things differently. She profiled a crop of “new capitalists,” such as designer Tory Burch, former Zappos CEO and serial entrepreneur Tony Hsieh, and Kind LLC founder Daniel Lubetzky (the snack company with the apt name). The key quality these business titans have in common? They’ve built their companies on a foundation of equity, inclusion, and giving back, discovering in the process revolutionary ways to achieve financial goals while fostering a culture of empathy and, yes, kindness. 


Conscious Capitalism


Key quote: “We can actually make a virtue out of remote work during the pandemic and use this time to make teams stronger, more empathetic, and, yes, kinder.” 

Our second speaker of the session was Mary Lefaiver, doctoral candidate and Learning Expert at PwC. In her talk entitled “The Struggle Is Real: The Priceless Rewards of Kindness at Work,” Mary gave us the freedom to accept that kindness is sometimes … difficult to accomplish. But, in the end, the effort is always worth it. 

In Mary’s role at PwC as well as in her Ph.D. studies, she has examined Stoic philosophy and developed a multitude of time-tested ways — both large and small — to enact empathy and togetherness within communities so that everyone feels part of the larger whole. Many include the realistic acknowledgement that kindness takes time that often isn’t available and that requires setting and keeping clear-cut boundaries.


Conscious Leadership


Key quote:  “Kindness means telling hard truths, versus remaining silent. Kindness also means being silent to enable other voices to be heard.”

Kindness at Work (From Home): Day 2

Day 2, Tuesday, Nov. 10, began with the introduction of Dr. Kasthuri Henry, an accomplished learning & development professional. Her moving webinar ranged from her childhood living under military rule in Sri Lanka to her experiences working for a number of multinational companies. Each of these instances has contributed in its own unique way to comprise Dr. Henry’s singular approach to building relationships that are founded on equity and nurtured through compassion.

Key quote: “Showing up with kindness does not in any way diminish the inner lion within us. Jobs come and go, titles come and go, but the power of influence is here to stay.” 

Dr. Henry’s talk introduced Mursion Co-Founder and CTO Arjun Nagendran, who spoke to our current technological advancements and dedication to delivering the most customized and highest quality simulations to serve our client community. In a rare behind-the-scenes glimpse, he walked us through how we create our human-led avatars to be as lifelike as possible in order to enact the most intentional and effective learning opportunities.

Key quote: “Technology is going to free us up to do things we actually care about. You have more room to be empathetic and kind now because we’re not worrying about repetitive tasks.”

Daria Tsvenger, Life and Mindset Coach, Angel Investor, and Founder of The Dream Sprint, brought our second session to a fitting close with a talk on the importance of setting boundaries in order to achieve truly symbiotic and mutually satisfying relationships. A necessary reminder for many of us, to be sure.

Key quote: “We are sometimes so afraid of disappointing others that we hurt ourselves and then act out from a place of resentment.”

Mursion hosts regular roundtables, webinars, and other events designed to spark ideas and serve as a hub of inspiration and community discussion. Sign up here and join the conversation.

by Wendy

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